Friday, July 17, 2009

Krauthammer 7/17/09

We Retreat From the Space Age

My take on Charles Krauthammer's latest. His column was published in the Washington Post.

Summary: Not much is happening in Space anymore and that's a shame.

America's manned space program is in shambles. Fourteen months from today, for the first time since 1962, the United States will be incapable not just of sending a man to the moon but of sending anyone into Earth orbit. We'll be totally grounded. We'll have to beg a ride from the Russians or perhaps even the Chinese.

My Views: At this point in time, we can't really say that we're retreating from Space. Obama has a review underway and may launch a new space intiative - or he may not. What bothers me is that we can never move ahead in Space if every few years when a new Administration moves in, they say cancel everything and start something new. It has to be an Obama program, not a Clinton one, and certainly not a Bush one.

Trouble is that space programs need consistent progress, not cancellations and new projects all the time. If there is a new Obama program, and if it is an improvement over the ones the earlier Presidents had, and if our country will follow through on it, then this is well and good. At this point, I hope so.

Charles Krauthammer is a more establishment columnist. He came to punditry by way of psychiatry (at Massachusetts General Hospital) via the New Republic Magazine. He appears on TV where you never see his wheelchair. Here's his Wiki bio.

He wrote a book which is pictured at the right. I am drawn by the substance and the thinking than any particular writing flair.